Rangers Pitching Struggles in Loss to Angels

Rangers Angels
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Angels 9, Rangers 3

ARLINGTON, Tex. (May 17) — The Texas Rangers dropped their series opener on Friday, losing to the Los Angeles Angels, 9–3. Among other highlights, the Angels were fueled by a two-run home run by Zach Neto in the third inning. The Rangers will have a chance to even this three-game set on Saturday night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:15 pm Central at Globe Life Field. Left-hander Patrick Sandoval (2–6, 5.00 ERA) will take the hill for the Angels, and righty Jose Urena (1–3, 3.62 ERA) will get the ball for the Rangers.

Tough Night for Rangers

The Rangers got on the board in the bottom of the second off Angels lefty Tyler Anderson. Their lead came on a solo home run to left by Jonah Heim, his fifth of the year. The Angels tied things up off Rangers lefty Andrew Heaney in the top of the third. After Nolan Schanuel was called out on strikes to lead off the frame, Luis Rengifo drew a walk. He stole second moments later. Up next was Kevin Pillar who plated Rengifo with an infield single to first. He advanced to second on a throwing error by Rangers first baseman Nathaniel Lowe.

Angels Pile On

The Angels added two more in the top of the fourth. Heaney issued a free pass to former Ranger Willie Calhoun. On deck was Jo Adell. Heaney got Adell to ground into a fielder’s choice that put Calhoun on second. Due up was Neto. He took Heaney deep to left for his fifth dinger of the season, giving the Angels a 3–1 lead. They extended the lead to 6–1 in the top of the fifth inning with Rangers reliever Grant Anderson on the mound. Pillar walked and stole second, then advanced to third on a fielding error by Marcus Semien at second on a pickoff attempt. Two batters later, Pillar crossed the plate on a single to right by Calhoun.

After a strikeout on a foul tip by Adell and a single to short by Neto, manager Bruce Bochy brought in Cole Winn to relieve Anderson. Soon after, Calhoun and Logan O’Hoppe, who walked earlier in the inning, scored on a single to right by Kyren Paris. The Angels scored their seventh run in the top of the sixth thanks to a solo homer to left-center by Taylor Ward. The Rangers chipped away at the lead in the bottom of the eighth against former Ranger Matt Moore. Josh Smith led off the inning with a single to center. Two batters later, Semien brought him home with a blast to left, his ninth of the season. The Angels tacked on two more in the top of the ninth off Shaun Anderson. Adell plated O’Hoppe and Calhoun, both singled earlier in the inning, with a double to center.

What Went Right for the Angels

The Angels took advantage of a struggling Rangers staff. Heaney did well, but he battled his last two batters. The Angels simply kept finding ways to score. Whether it was balls that left the yard or balls that stayed on the ground, they got guys in.

What Went Wrong for the Angels

Early on, it looked like it would be a long night for the Angels. Anderson gave up the second-inning homer to Heim. Six innings later, they gave another one up to Semien.

Heaney’s Outing

Heaney allowed three runs, two earned, over a season-low tying 3 2/3 innings as he took the loss in his ninth start of the season. He now owns a record of 0–5 with an ERA of 4.45. His final line was 3 2/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R-2 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO, 1 HR, 83 pitches/50 strikes. The former Angel was charged with an unearned run in the third on the throwing error by Lowe before surrendering the two-run homer to Neto in the fourth.

Heaney walked the third batter he faced (Adell) in the second, snapping a span of 29 straight innings without permitting a walk. It is the third-longest stretch of consecutive innings without a walk by any pitcher in Rangers history, shorter than only Derek Holland (32 2/3, 9/23/13-9/17/14) and Jon Matlack (6/24-7/22/78). Heaney has gone 0-5, 4.43 ERA (22 ER/44.2 IP) with 44 strikeouts/11 walks over 9 appearances/starts this season. For the Angels, Anderson improved to 4–4 on the season with an ERA of 2.72. He matched his season-high with seven innings pitched. Anderson is one of three AL pitchers to have four games of seven-plus innings pitched this season, along with Seth Lugo of the Kansas City Royals and Nestor Cortes of the New York Yankees.

Postgame Comments

In his postgame press conference, Bochy briefly discussed Andrew Heaney’s evening. “The pitches caught up with him more than anything. I didn’t want to push him too much here,” Bochy said. “Had some bad luck. … Stuff was pretty good, but just got away from it as the game went.”


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